The Futre Of Education Is Up For Grabs
In the last 25 years, the landscape of public education in the United States has changed drastically. Much of this is due to the impact of an increasingly large number of parents moving their children into charter schools. These schools operate using public funds but under charters that establish guidelines for operation that make them independent from the school district. The effectiveness of these programs is still being debated, but the idea of charter schools has been embraced by thousands of parents from across the country and the numbers continue to grow. This raises the question, why are parents choosing charter schools over traditional public schools?
Why Parents Are Turning To Charter Schools
One of the main reasons that parents are choosing charter schools is the belief that they are able to attract better teachers. These schools are often much more selective in who they employ and in some situations this does in fact result in a better classroom experience. Another reason charter schools are often chosen is the perception that they are safer. Charter schools are more easily able to control who makes up their student body and can deal with troubled students more efficiently. The final main reason that parents choose these schools is their ability to focus on certain areas of education. For example, because they have so much more control over their curriculum charter schools can focus areas like science or performing arts.
Do We Want Regular Public Schools To Disappear?
The issue that arises with charter schools is the amount of funding that they draw away from public schools. Areas that fund charter schools are forced to pay less for traditional schools. In addition, this is at a time when public schools are struggling to get the funding they need and dealing with the effects of legislation like No Child Left Behind. In many situations, this leads to a cycle in which students at the traditional schools struggle more due to less funding and are then sent by their parents to charter schools. This in turn draws even more funding from the traditional public school. So we must ask ourselves, are we willing to let charter schools totally replace the traditional public schools most of us grew up with?